Connecticut Breaks Ground on Busway

Governor Dannel P. Malloy speaks at the groundbreaking | Photo: Connecticut Fund for the Environment

Yesterday, Connecticut broke ground on a 9.4 mile bus rapid transit project that promises to help revitalize the state’s economy and ensure a more sustainable future for Connecticut.

In addition to the groundbreaking, the project, previously known as the New Britain-Hartford Busway, was formally rebranded as CTfastrak. The new name was launched in tandem with a new CTrides public transportation branding campaign.

CTfastrak will bring rapid transit to the New Britain-Hartford corridor, where buses will come every three to six minutes during peak travel hours. It will have 11 stations, and it will also connect to more than 110 miles of transit routes, according to Governor Malloy’s office. The system will also include a five-mile trail for pedestrians and cyclists and accommodate bicycles on buses.

Apart from the estimated 4,000 construction jobs that the project will bring to Connecticut, CTfastrak will also help stimulate economic development in areas close to the busway’s stations. Officials broke ground at what will become Parkville Station in Hartford, an area that is already a hub for smart development, with restaurants and artist lofts within walking distance of the station. With the introduction of CTfastrak facilities, this trend is expected to continue and grow. Officials anticipate that this type of economic development will occur throughout the transit corridor, with expectations bolstered by a recent surge of interest in downtown New Britain, where businesses are investing in properties within walking distance of CTfastrak.

The business and labor community’s support of the busway was evident at yesterday’s groundbreaking, where both Oz Griebel of MetroHartford Alliance and Ed Reilly of the Hartford Building Trades Council spoke. Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy, United States Representative John Larson, Department of Transportation Commissioner Jim Redeker, Connecticut State Senator Terry Gerratana, Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra, Simsbury First Selectman Mary Glassman, and federal representatives also spoke.

CTfastrak—along with last year’s transit-oriented development grants and the continued progress of the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield commuter rail project—continues the trend of investment in initiatives that help residents get around on transit, on bikes, and on foot, a trend that has picked up steam since Malloy took office 16 months ago.

“With the investment in bus rapid transit, putting new railcars in service in southern Connecticut, and moving forward to build interstate higher speed rail, we are well on our way to turning the page on years of neglect,” said Governor Malloy at the groundbreaking.

Service on CTfastrak is expected to begin in 2014.

4 Comments on "Connecticut Breaks Ground on Busway"

  1. Clark Morris | May 23, 2012 at 4:27 pm |

    I hope everyone keeps close track of costs and how well this performs against original estimates.

  2. dave bonan | May 26, 2012 at 4:19 pm |

    i love how the opponents of BRT are mired. BRT is insanely cost efficient and effective in NYC and elsewhere in the USA and it has been very popular all over South America and the Middle East since 2000. And those populations are immensely dense.

    Iran for instance is the most mass transit rich nation in the Middle East.

  3. Clark Morris | May 29, 2012 at 4:49 pm |

    Considering that the operating costs are higher per passenger mile, the capital costs in many cases are higher and that many busways have not met projections (Pittsburgh South and West Busways are examples of both) I find this statement not too credible. I will grant that some of the select bus services probably are doing better than the predecessor bus services but insanely successful in North America, where? Remember that in South America people will tolerate crowding that North Americans won’t tolerate on a regular basis (departures after a major event being an exception). Indeed rules of thumb for crowding used in Europe for light rail and buses proved to not be obtainable in most cities in North America.

  4. Steve Elson | June 1, 2012 at 9:56 pm |

    @dave bonan, how many people in Iran (really, Iran?) have cars as compared to Connecticut? The cultural, economic, demographic, and political differences between Iran and Connecticut enormous. Pretty weak argument in support of the bus way if this is one of your best examples. (we should do it because it works in Iran!)

    Opponents of bus way are not mired. This is a waste of money. The equivalent of this is having a house with a leaking roof and sagging floors and instead of fixing those problems, you put in an in-ground swimming pool while ignoring the fact that no one in your family knows how to swim.

    16,000 riders a day? That is 5,840,000 riders per yer. In 2010, Bradley International Airport had 5,380,987 passengers.

    Who really thinks the bus way will handle over 400,000 more passengers annually between New Britain and Hartford than Bradley International with people going all over the world?

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